removing tile, painting walls

This bathroom project was fairly small and simple. The original walls had older, plastic tile everywhere. The customer wanted to take down the old tile, paint the bathroom, and add a ceiling fan.

When we started taking down the tile, we ran into a slight issue. The old glue was really stuck to the walls. So our options were to completely remove all the drywall or patch the entire wall from bottom to top. We decided to patch the walls. It took about 4 coats to ready the walls for paint. In the end, it turned out looking great, and we installed a new vanity to complete the look.

durock and tile install

Before Christmas, I put in a bid on a “small” job. The job consisted of laying durock cement and tiling two bathrooms, a kitchen and a laundry room, as well as pouring a custom shower base in one of the bathrooms.

So I priced out the job by estimating the amount of time it would take. I figured everything would take about 8 days of labor, at most. I figured tiling is going to a piece of cake. I reasoned the shower base will be a bit difficult; but, other than that, it will be smooth sailing.

Boy was I mistaking. Instead of 8 days of labor, it took 16. The shower base took longer than expected. Tiling took longer than expected.

Usually I tile to a certain level on the shower wall, a few inches past the shower head; then, I finish off the edges with bullnose tile. In this case, both bathroom walls were tilted to the very ceiling. This just added a lot of extra work I did’t anticipate.

So yea, a few extra surprises along the way, a little bit of stress, but all in all, the job is finished and ready to be enjoyed!

poker life lesson, living outside your means

This past Saturday, I decided to play a mini-deep stack tourney at a local casino. It was a $100 buy-in, good structure, and my bankroll can afford the loss. Unfortunately, by the time I got there, all the seats were taken, so I decided to jump into the 1/2 no limit cash game.

Long story short, I played outside my bankroll and lost. It’s days like this when I doubt my love for the game. Because losing sucks! I treat poker like I do any venture. The object is to make money. But, like in any business, its not all rainbows and butterflies. There will be days when you lose.

The key is not to put all your eggs in one basket. Why shouldn’t I put all my eggs in one basket you ask? Because eggs are delicate, fragile. If I drop the basket and my eggs break, what I am to eat? 😀

Same goes with my poker bankroll. No matter how good I think I am, I’m still susceptible to tilting and getting unlucky, which is a big part of the game. Same goes for life. If I can’t afford that beautiful $100,000 car, $1,000,000 home or $300 shoes, I shouldn’t buy them.

I imagine the feelings of stress, doubt and inadequacy could be avoided if I play within my bankroll. Same goes for life. When it comes down to it, I believe poker and life is about constantly reaching higher while doing so in a intelligent manner. Living outside the means just leads to unnecessary stress and pain. Thank you poker for yet another humble lesson.

poker schooling me on life

My buddies and I stroll into Horseshoe Casino in Hammond on Christmas morning around 3a.m. Its our first annual tradition. No, I’m joking; we usually hit up the boat after Christmas Eve dinner. We were only there about 3 hours, I played the 1/2 no limit hold’em, and bought in for $200. I quickly lost. I got into a situation where I was supposed to win, but simply lost.

***The next few paragraphs might not make much sense unless you play poker. Try to understand them, but it’s not necessary if you don’t.***

Within 10 minutes of starting my session, I look down at A5 of hearts (h) in early position six-handed. I open the action to $6. Middle position, dealer, small blind and big blind calls. We go to the flop with $30. Flop is 10h Qh 6c. Small blind and big blind checks, I bet $15, middle position folds, button calls, the blinds fold. $60 in pot, and turn is a Jh. I complete my Ace high flush, and I’m focused on how to get max value from my presumed nut hand. I think I bet $35, button calls. $130 in pot and river is a blank. I check, button bets $35, I raise to $70, he pushes all-in, I snap and he shows Kh-9h for the straight flush. Out of the remaining 47 cards in the deck, he needed one card and one card only to stack me. He hit it, and I lost $200.

In similar situations where we both make strong flushes on the turn, I will win $200 6 out of 7 times for a revenue of $1,200. 1 of the 7 times I’m beat and will lose $200. Overall, that’s a net profit of $1,000 for me. Still, it hurts when you lose.

***End of poker talk***

Point is, life is not always fair. You could be ahead, you mathematically should win, but you don’t. You work hard, wait for the perfect spots, people make mistakes, they outdraw you, and you lose.

Nonetheless, if you play to the best of your ability, you will come up on top in the long run. The poker gods give, and the poker gods take. We go through peaks and valleys, trials and errors, highs and lows. You just have to take your bad beats, keep your head high and just keep swimming.

I think the worst thing you can do in poker, and life in general, is quit when you’re down. Everyone gets down; losing and being in the gutter is just a mathematical and universal truth. But, if you stay down, you will never be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

So thank you poker for teaching me to always do my best. Through the statistics of the game, I’ve learned to better comprehend the timeless truth, “always do your best and things will work out.”

financial backing and healthy breakfast

Last night was a new journey for me. It was the first time I was financially backed to play poker. That means I can gamble without risking my own money. If I lose, my investor loses. If I win, the investor takes 50 percent of the profit.

I think it’s a fair system, and it allows me to play and get better. Its also an ego booster to know someone believes in my abilities. Being backed is nice, since you don’t have to stress about losing money you can not afford to lose; nonetheless, losing money that is not yours is also stressful.

We were playing a dealers choice, with mostly consisted of texas hold’em and omaha, with a little bit of pineapple thrown into the mix. The blinds were $1, and my backer gave me a $100 to start.

Early on, I was able to build my stack up to $150 until I ran into some bad luck and went down to $40. Then I ran into some fortune and built it up to $260. I eventually would give some back and walked out with $200. My backer and I split the profit, and I walked away with $50.

Staying calm and collected when losing is important. Anything that can help is useful. For me, that is eating properly. That is why I enjoy this oatmeal breakfast. This breakfast will make sure you have enough fiber, which is important when you’re making a decision that can make or break your night. You want to have enough fiber so you are not thinking about going to the bathroom at the same time.

Nerves, backers, fiber, risk, loss and profit. They are all important parts of poker. In this game, everything came together nicely, where both my backer and I were able to profit.

master and guest bath remodel

This bathroom remodel was a great project. It was two bathrooms right on the same floor, which is very convenient. We simply jumped into the other bathroom while things like tile glue was drying in the other.

In the master bathroom, we removed all the old tile off the floor, tub surround tile, shower tile, and shower floor. A custom shower base was installed, new faucet on the tub, new drywall by the tub surround and shower. The lighter tile looked really good in the bigger bathroom. The shower came out really nice, especially the granite slab for the flooring.

In the guest bathroom, we tiled the entire the bath walls with mosaic tile. Turned out great, although it was a lot of extra grouting. I think the darker tile complimented the bathroom well.

Jucuzzi tub bath remodel

Before the remodel, the bathroom had a standard 60 inch tub. The customer wanted to put a bigger jacuzzi whirlpool tub. In order to accommodate the tub, we tore down the existing walls, pushed back the framing, redid the plumbing and added electricity for the whirlpool. Electricity was also run for two can lights above the jacuzzi.

The customers did a real nice job selecting the fixtures, tiles, vanity and new door. The bathroom came out really nice and is one of my favorite remodels.

New window, walls and tiling

This bathroom was a project that is close to the heart. The family’s motivation to remodel this bathroom was to lift the family’s spirits. One of their members is battling cancer, and while they underwent treatment at the hospital, we redid the bathroom.

We basically gutted the bathroom down to the studs. New drywall was placed around the tub surround and some of the walls. The customer really wanted a window that could be opened, so we knocked out the old block windows. We added a ceiling fan and had a professional re-glaze the tub. The family truly appreciated our efforts. This was a very personal and touching project.

doing work for family has its perks

One of my family members has an apartment complex from literally the 1920s. Its beautifully vintage and has aged like a fine wine. The only difference between fine wine and this apartment is fine wine tastes great and the apartment always needs rehabbing.

The bathroom tile was falling apart, and there was a drain leak. The tenant was out for a long weekend, so I had about 3 days to update the bathroom, which I figured was plenty of time.

I ended up working about 40 hours over that weekend to get the bathroom ready. Behind the old tiles, the walls were beginning to fall apart. The old damaged framing needed to be removed and new framing added. Being a small bathroom, everything was a tight fit, and the leak was difficult to reach. Nonetheless, all was finished, and I learned that doing work for family doesn’t pay too much, but the lessons and experience are priceless.